Painting 2019 - 2020

Looking for Goethe Oil on canvas 100x100cm 2020

The robed walking figure is based on a small family photo from the 1950s of my late grandfather fleeing from my grandmothers camera. My grandfather was a rural veterinarian, symbolized in the picture by that cone shaped dwelling —a mud and straw structure from the Hungarian peasant countryside —pig sty on ground level and poultry above. My grandfather read novels written in the Romantic tradition. I miss him very much..

Lacika Oil on canvas 100x100cm 2020

From a childhood photo, maybe around 1964, taken in the driveway of my grandparents house, which for me, is one of the most enchanted place I have known. The horseshoe stairs on right are fictional in this setting, just like the happy indulgence of my sweet memories.

Buddha comforts a baby elephant 75.5x75.5cm 2020

The little elephant, distressed by his shrinking environment, welcomes the shelter of the giant fingers.

This mercurial chartruese man refuses to take shape. Oil on canvas 100x100cm 2020

My uncle in his orchid with a morello cherry tree. The mercurial state of the figure adapted from the 1963 film 8½, is symbolic of my memories of loved ones, and how slippery and subjective those memories can be. My uncle’s appearance and especially his tone of voice fascinates me with its resemblance to the actor Marcello Mastroianni who plays the lead role in the film. The painting like the film, also reflects on the challenges of artistic creativity and career while meeting the demands of a fragmented life filled with family, relationships and a day job.

Red Oil on canvas 100x100cm 2020

With this picture, I am trying to convey the emotional energy of an earthy redness using simple bold geometric shapes and gestures. The painting suggests that the forms are larger than what the canvas can contain.

Hourglass 100x100cm Oil on linen 2020

During the last 2 years I have worked with this image of Marcello Mastroianni adapted from the 1963 film 8½. I have long had a fascination for Mastroianni’s resemblance to my uncle, not only in appearance but even more so with the tone of his voice. I am interested in this figures blend of classical dress, cowboy hat and thick glasses presenting an intriguing postmodern persona.

Figure in green Oil on linen 100x100cm 2020

Francis Bacon is an artist with enduring inspiration for many painters. It was not after I finished this picture that I realised the debt it owes to one of my favourite paintings by Bacon, ‘Study from the human body’ (1949) at the National Gallery of Victoria. While Bacon’s figure enters a curtained room, my figure appears to be leaving one.

Red Shadow Oil on linen 100x50cm 2020

This minimal image was developed from a photo I took of a shadow on the wall of the National Gallery of Victoria. The shadow is cast by a Gothic Madonna sculpture holding the infant Jesus. Somehow, my rendering has aged the young Saviour into a young man.

'Smart as paint' (Long John Silver to Jim Hawkins). 100x100cm oil on linen 2019.

I was struck by this phrase while reading Treaure Island and was determined to use it as a title. I like how it can speak of the intelligence of painting.

Mr Puszi Cat dreams of a white rabbit. oil on canvas 100x100 cm 2018 - 2019

My first painting for 2019 is partly a self portrait painted in protest to our new Russian blue cat. Happy to say that the cat and I are now dear chums.

3 figures Oil on linen 47x60cm 2020

The crouching figure of Jim Kerr as he sings ‘I promised you a miracle’ beckons to an outline of a sprinkled Tiepolo character. A pocket-sized Tom Jones struts his stuff in the background. A rendezvous for 3 figures on a stage that makes their meeting possible.

Meritocracy Oil on linen 68x50cm 2020

I like the phrase that postulates ‘Its what you know and not who you know that matters’, but I fear that it doesn’t always ring true. Wikipedia says: Meritocracy is a political system in which economic goods and/or political power are vested in individual people on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class …

Laszlo Romer